I get asked quite often what I eat, and even though this post it's named "contortion diet", there is not really a diet specific for contortion, what there is instead is an approach to healthy, nourished, hydrated, functional body, that can heal and recover efficiently, minimize negative aspects of aging (free radicals, loss of skin elasticity, loss of collagen etc) and have a strong immune system (less days spent being sick). I'd been experimenting with food and nutrition since I was 16, if my early goal was just to "look good" (which in my head meant different things at different stages of my life), through the years it became a consequence more than a priority, I discovered being strong and healthy was WAY more important than having a low body fat (and for low I meant an unhealthy 10-13%). I could train harder and better if my nutrition supported the goal of being healthy, if I didn't cut carbs, fats and all sort of nutrients from my diet, I could spend my time, energy and focus on what I loved to do, without struggling with hunger and feeling deprived, moody and weak. So essentially, you need to eat a VARIETY of foods, that comes from SIMPLE, CLEAN sources, with MINIMUM amount of ingredients. If you are not gluten intolerant, you can have wheat (whole wheat better). Wheat is not bad for you, just retains more extracellular water than other foods and so the puffy and bloated feeling. Also too much wheat and carbs can cause weight gain, so watch your portions. If you're not vegan or vegetarian, you can have animal products, but keep in mind dairy can be heavy on digestion (not everyone tolerates well lactose), as well as fatty red meat (like hamburger, seems like red meat takes a while to be digested). Those are my personal guidelines (without going into too much details). Now some examples of what are my favorite sources of nutrients:
- VEGETABLES: a great source of fibrous carbs, I have a preference for dark green, green, purple colors (spinach, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage etc.), better if ORGANIC.
- FRUIT: since high in fructose (=sugar) I don't eat much of it, but occasionally bananas and green apples.
- BROWN RICE, POTATOES, OATS, whole wheat BREAD, RICECAKES: complex carbs which a moderate glycemic index.
- EGG WHITES, CHICKEN BREAST, TURKEY BREAST: low fat animal protein, better if ORGANIC.
- FISH, ESPECIALLY WILD SALMON, TUNA, SEA BASS: fatty fish tastes best and contains the precious Omega 3's (anti inflammatory, antioxidant properties: did you know salmon, trout and shrimps also contain astaxanthin, one of the strongest antioxidant in the world?)
- NUT BUTTERS, AVOCADO, OLIVE OIL: my favorite sources of healthy, unsaturated fats. I use coconut oil for baking.
- WATER, NO DIET SODAS, GREEN TEA, COFFEE (1/DAY): what I drink daily.
- ALMOND MILK: (my favorite brand is Califia): use it for smoothies and to make my oatmeal :)
- SUPPLEMENTS: My favorites for joint health are GLC 2000, Collagen by Youth Theory, or Joint Vibrance and a multivitamin
- NO ARTIFICIAL CHEMICALS ( I use Stevia as sweetener or honey)
I always combine my meals this way: protein + complex and/or fibrous carbs and fat. A balanced meal each time (I don't really measure portions, but I try to have about 4 meals a day, never stuffing myself).
Nothing processed, fried or elaborate (don't eat what you can't tell is in it, like elaborated sauces, frozen meals with tons of ingredients you can't even spell).
Read ingredients not labels!! Labels are misleading, ingredients cannot lie. Also the concentrations of ingredients goes from first one listed (the most amount) to last one (less amount).
As far as cheats, I do plenty :D My choices are PIZZA, dark chocolate, oatmeal raisin cookies, and I love whatever contains peanut butter! Again I don't overdo it, I learned that a few pieces is all I really need, instead of a whole box.
As long as your diet is 80-90% clean, you'll have good health. The cheats might not be good for your body, but they keep your mind healthy ;)
Lastly, remember the importance of water, a flexible body needs to stay hydrated, so aim for half gallon to a gallon a day (I still can't do a gallon :-O)